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I read a report the other day that Amazon, the online bookseller, sold more e-books than paper books last month. This was the first time this happened. Coincidentally, the bricks-and-mortar book retailer Borders filed for reorganization and is also in play as a possible buy. Its current chairman as well as other investment groups are all vying for a position.
Amazon was also the innovator of The Kindle, an e-reading device that when introduced in 2007 was sold for $399. As competition rose--Barnes & Noble's e-reader called The Nook and Sony's Reader--Amazon's prices fell to $139. Do you think they are making money on the device or just selling it at cost so they can sell more e-books?
In April, Apple introduced the iPad (and has sold 3 million units to date) which allows its owners to read books as well. Of course, owners of Blackberry, iPhone and Droid can also read books on their phones.
But the iPad will win.
Simply because one-dimensional products have a shorter life cycle. Remember when word processing machines were all the rage? What happened to them? What happened to single-purpose devices in our economy? Many have not survived.
What about your bowling center? How can you make it a multi-use facility? Sure, you have a bar and a snack bar and a bunch of games, but what can you do to stay relevant in the NEW multi-purpose environment? Can you become a birthday party showcase too? Can you become a GREAT sports bar too? Can you become a late-night nightclub too?
What will you be when you grow up?